KUALA LUMPUR: Nov 28 is all that matters to Premier League title contenders Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Terengganu Hockey Team.
That is the day they will cross swords in what is likely to be the title-decider in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
But, before that, they each have one more hurdle to overcome on Sunday – KLHC are up against Sapura while Terengganu entertain Maybank at their home ground in Kuala Terengganu.
And both teams are well aware of the pitfalls awaiting them should they be over-confident or complacent.
With three games remaining, KLHC are leading the standings with the maximum 21 points – three ahead of Terengganu.
KLHC have won the league title eight years running while Terengganu are looking for their first since making their MHL debut last year.
Both teams are not expected to drop points today, but KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj is preaching caution and has asked his players to just go for a win rather than the goals.
“It’s not necessary to put pressure on ourselves by trying to score a lot of goals. The points will do. We are aware that goal difference at this stage could be crucial. But we have the advantage of having a three-goal difference. All we need is to win our matches to take the title,” he said.
Terengganu still have a lot to do.
They need to win all their three remaining matches – including beating KLHC – if they are to lift the title.
Team manager Mohamed Sabri Salleh has warned his players not to waste their chances, especially the penalty corners.
Terengganu boast two of the most potent penalty corner takers in Faizal Saari and Jang Jong-hyun of South Korea.
Faizal has scored seven goals and Jong-hyun five.
“We are happy with our players’ overall showing ... there have been improvements in certain aspects. But I want more goals,” said Sabri.
Terengganu will welcome Faizal back to the team after a two-match suspension for a red card offence.
Terengganu were without Faizal when they lost 3-1 to KLHC in the first round. But now that he’s back, things could be different indeed.
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